This Week in Sustainability

Parker’s adds EV charging, Repsol aims to be zero emissions and farms turn food waste into energy.

December 06, 2019

ALEXANDRIA—Sustainability is fast becoming top of mind for convenience and fuel retailers, and at NACS Daily, our newsfeed is filled with headlines about efforts to minimize waste—of the packaging or food variety—and to reduce or offset carbon emissions. Here are some stories we’ve been following in the first week of December.

Parker’s rolls out six new EV charging stations in Georgia. The Savannah, Georgia-based c-store chain’s Metter, Georgia, location off Interstate 16 now has six new Tesla superchargers, which join two existing EV charging stations installed on-site by Georgia Power. “Now, every electric vehicle on the market can be charged at our Metter store,” said Parker’s founder and CEO Greg Parker. “We’re thrilled that the new V3 Tesla charging site features the fastest chargers currently available in the United States.” These are the first Tesla Superchargers in the Parker’s network, and the company has plans to add additional locations in the future. “As a larger percentage of our customers begin driving electric vehicles, we want to provide them with a state-of-the-art charging infrastructure at strategic Parker’s locations,” said Parker’s President Jeff Bush. The Parker’s Metter store also features newly remodeled and expanded restrooms. (Source: Parker’s).

EV sales are up in California, making progress toward the state’s goal of five million by 2030. Overall registrations for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in the state increased to 7.9% in combined market share during the first nine months of 2019 compared with the year-ago period. State policymakers have set a goal of five million zero-carbon emission vehicles on California’s roads by 2030. Non-plug-in hybrids aren’t classified as zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, and don’t count toward the state’s target, but if their 5.5% of market share is added, the combined percentage of electric vehicles and all hybrids is a record 13.4% for the third quarter. “These numbers pretty much track with what we’ve been seeing and are a continuing sign that there’s a healthy ZEV market developing in California and that the state’s ZEV goals are achievable,” said Dave Clegern, public information officer for the California Air Resources Board. (Source: Los Angeles Times)

Here are three game-changing EV technologies for overcoming range anxiety. Oilprice.com has released its list of top three innovations for EV charging: 1.) wireless charging, 2.) the three-minute charge and 3.) vehicle-to-grid technology. With 1.) wireless charging, EVs can recharge while idling in parking lots (think c-stores), parked overnight in a garage or even driving on highways. Wireless charging for EVs involves two pads—one on the car and one on the floor of the garage, parking lot or road—that need to be aligned so charging will begin at speeds of 3.3 kW, 6.6 kW, or 20 kW. With 2.) The three-minute charge, EVs get enough juice to go for 62 miles. BMW and Porsche have developed charging technology with a capacity of 450 kW—three times the capacity of Tesla’s Supercharger. However, the technology isn’t compatible with current model EVs. Companies are working on 3.) vehicle-to-grid technology in which EVs charge from the grid when there is excess output and release back unused power to the grid at peak hours. Smart charging would prevent an overload on the grid in case too many EVs are charging at once during peak electricity demand periods, and companies are working to make EV charging more reliable by managing the load on the grid. (Source: Oilprice.com)

Spanish oil company Repsol said it will be a net zero emissions company by 2050. Repsol is the first oil and gas company in the world to set this ambitious goal. It aims to reduce its carbon footprint 10% by 2025, 20% by 2030, 40% by 2040 and reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Repsol’s gas stations will continue to offer more electric charging points, liquid petroleum gas, compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas. The company plans to double production of high-quality biofuels derived from vegetable oils (HVO) to 600,000 tons per year in 2030, half of which will be derived from waste transformation before 2025. Repsol also will integrate renewable energy into refining operations, incorporating production of green hydrogen, as well as the use of renewable energy to fuel industrial processes. (Source: Petrol Plaza)

Sturdier, reusable plastic bags come under fire in the United Kingdom. If the goal is to reduce retailers’ “plastic footprint,” the U.K. government is finding that taxing single-use plastic bags may be backfiring. When the government imposed a 5-pence tax on single-use plastic bags four years ago, it promoted thicker bags that shoppers could reuse until they wear out, then could return them to the retailer for another bag. The 10 biggest grocers sold more than 1.5 billion of the so-called “bags for life” in 2019, indicates a report by Greenpeace and Britain’s Environment Investigation Agency. That comes to 54 bags per household and amounts to nearly 50,000 tons of plastic, in addition to more than 3,000 tons of plastic from single-use bags. The report urges retailers to charge more for the reusable bags (which sell for about 26 cents) to encourage consumers to reuse them. (Source: the New York Times).

The U.S. Department of Energy wants to help boost plastics recycling. The agency launched the Plastics Innovation Challenge with the goal of positioning the United States as a world leader in advanced plastic recycling technologies. The project seeks to promote production of plastic products that are designed to be recyclable and to develop collection and processing technologies that can be commercialized. (Source: Plastics Recycling Update)

Massachusetts dairy farmers are using food waste to generate electricity. An interesting report from PBS and NPR details how farmers are gathering unsold food (that’s not fit to be donated to food banks) from retailers around the state and grinding it up into a slurry combined with manure, then feeding it into an anaerobic digester, which captures the methane emissions to make renewable energy that’s used to power a special generator. What power the farm doesn’t use gets fed back into the electricity grid. (Source: NPR)

S&D Coffee & Tea has released its 2019 Sustainability Report. “Rooted in Impact” summarizes the Concord, North Carolina-based company’s efforts and progress made during 2017 and 2018 toward its sustainability goals to create real change across the supply chain. S&D’s key focus areas include: sustainable sourcing, environmental conservation, workplace responsibility and corporate citizenship. (Source: S&D Coffee & Tea)

To learn more about minimizing food waste in your foodservice operations, head over to NACS Magazine to read “Waste Not, Want Not” in the August issue, and for more on plastics, see “The New Plastic Economy” in the September issue. To read what industry veteran Jacob Schram has to say about capitalizing on the EV evolution, read “EVs Ahead” in the August issue.

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